Every once in a while something truly inspiring will come along, be it from the sporting world or any walk of life. More recently Prince Harry, a man who has served in Afghanistan, has orchestrated a disabled games that celebrates and exhibits some of the most driven and inspiring people out there. We’re talking people who have been through adversity and back again, people who have disabilities as a result of circumstance, their profession, and their bravery. These warriors were severely injured, and yet, came back stronger for it… these people are the Invictus athletes! These people will be competing in our very own Prince Harry’s… Invictus Games!
What are the Invictus Games? The Jaguar Land Rover Invictus Games is a sporting event that recognises and supports those who have made a personal sacrifice for others. More pertinently though, these people have come out the other side and are now ready to show exactly what they can achieve post- injury. The Invictus athletes include those who are wounded, injured and/or sick, and will include over 400 competitors from 13 nations. The teams will be selected from the armed forces of nations that have served alongside one another, and in turn use sport as a way to inspire and encourage everybody, but particularly those who might have to endure rehabilitative processes, as well as increasing the level of understanding we all have for those who serve their respective countries.
What will the events be? The games will start at the Lee Valley Athletics Centre in the London Borough of Enfield, and the events will be in the classic track and field disciplines, finishing with the 4x 100m.
Day 2 will see the brutal wheelchair rugby kick off, this will take place in the Copper Box arena in London, Stratford. Such is the brutality of wheelchair rugby, that it is dubbed ‘Murderball’… Nice! The warrior mentality will have to be unwavering with competitors smashing and crashing one another in the pursuit of glory! Archery is also scheduled for day 2, the accuracy, precision and nerve needed for this event will have you gripped.
Onto day 3, and onto wheelchair basketball this time. 8 nations will be competing in a 5 v 5 tournament format which will crown a champ at the end of the day. As well as this, the Indoor rowers will be taking to the water (or not), but instead will use adapted rowing machines which will be presented on a big screen building intensity and suspense as the competitors race it out for the gold medal. Day 3 will also see the cyclists take on a newly adapted road circuit that circles the Lee Valley VeloPark. Events will include time trials and road race events.
Day 4 is the time for the sitting volleyball competitors who will have the pleasure of closing the events. The competition between the 9 teams competing for the final medals of the Invictus Games will be hot! Alongside this will be the big boys/ girls who will be Powerlifting to the max to come away with gold. The discipline will be Chest press, and we all know how competitive that can get in the gym now don’t we guys! The swimming will be the showcased on the final day too, and will see nations take to the pool in the London Aquatics Centre to compete over 50 and 100m in backstroke and freestyle. In traditional swimming fashion the final events will include the team relay events which never fail to get the crowd going!
The message behind these games
The Invictus Games’ message is clear, and it’s personified by each and every one of the athletes competing…NEVER GIVE UP! Invictus literally means ‘unconquered’, and embodies the indomitable spirit of the warriors who will be competing. If an event can celebrate this spirit through sporting achievements, and go some way to recognising the journey that these men and women are on/ been on then good on you Invictus Games, and good on you the Invictus competitors!
Invictus Games, (2014). For our wounded warriors. The Invictus Story. Retrieved 10th September, 2014, from discount supplements